Allen Nance, WhatCounts president, said he is on a crusade to persuade C-suite exeuctives that email marketing is so much more efficient than direct mail -- not just with cost, but time. He challenges them to conduct audits of time spent and money on a direct mail campaign and compare the results to email.
"It's clearly an exaggeration, but the point of the exaggeration is to show disparity," he said.
ExactTarget vice president Jeff Rohrs said cutbacks in post office service could lead to money shifting over to more email campaigns.
Within email marketing over the next 12-18 months, Nance said there will be consolidation in the market. He said he receives calls from other investors looking at business plans around consolidation. "You will see consilidation that will lead to fewer providers," he said. "That will happen over the next 12 months."
Also, he said there will be less switching of email service providers among clients in search of a better solution. They are "finding out it's not just the grass is greener on the other side." He said he expects some of that will be propelled by marketers getting larger budgets and more resources, where they will be able to hire more people, and they will be able to upgrade services without a need to switch ESPs.
ExactTarget's Rohrs didn't necessarily agree that marketers will get more resources internally. But, the email business has some advantages coming.
One is spam is actually a benefit for email in sort of a paradoxical way. Email suffered for years from perceptions that it was a hub for spam, but now "spam is our friend" because Facebook and Twitter are dealing with it also, so it's not just email's probelms. "Now that spam is the Internet's problem and people understand that, I think email will continue to benefit from, 'Oh, it's a problem everyone shares,'" he said.
Rohrs also is expecting over the next year to 18 months that there will be "more email/social integration on the data side.
Comments were made Thursday at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit.